Welcome to LRE UK!

Welcome to the LRE United Kingdom website, where you can find plenty of information about the LRE Foundation national branch in the United Kingdom, the LRE UK!

The LRE Foundation is an international organisation behind various remembrance projects such as Liberation Route Europe – the certified Cultural Route following in the footsteps of the Allied advance in the Second World War– and Europe Remembers – the online portal for remembrance events and sites throughout Europe.  The LRE UK branch of the foundation intends to extend the network, and connect and promote the main sites of the Second World War British history and heritage by including them in the Liberation Route Europe trails network.

The LRE UK’s main ambition is to develop the Liberation Route UK, a network of British remembrance trails that will link to the Liberation Route Europe hiking trails, an international route connecting sites that commemorate the British and Allies advance to liberate Europe in the Second World War. The Hampshire county and the city of Portsmouth will serve as a starting base, given their incredible role during the preparation and execution of the D-Day. The network of trails and sites to visit is also being developed in Lincolnshire, and will highlight the the rich WWII aviation history of the county.

With this network of trails, the LRE UK will work to highlight a vast British cultural landscape that, for the most part, has remained hidden since the Second World War. In collaboration with the LRE Foundation’s partners, both in the country and abroad, the LRE UK will strive to make this core part of British history more visible and accessible to visitors from across the world.

Historian and battlefield guide, Ben Mayne is director of the LRE UK and helps the LRE Foundation with setting up new projects in the country. It is with great honour that I have accepted the responsibility to create the LRE UK. As an historian and battlefield guide, I know the importance of creating a lasting legacy for the younger generations and prompting the history and heritage that surround us. LRE UK will look to work alongside councils, tourism boards, schools, forestry commissions and museums to develop further the Liberation Route UK trails network. As seen when developing the LRE Italy branch back in 2014, this initial phase will require time, efforts and funding. We hope that the National Lottery Heritage Fund will provide us with the support we need to develop this project further.” – Ben Mayne, LRE UK Director.

The national branch also has four extraordinary ambassadors to support its development. Mervyn Kersh, and Reg Charles, British veterans who took part in the D-Day and the liberation of continental Europe, together with Andrew Wright, son of the late Fred Wright, Royal Engineers. They will form a committee that will provide the LRE UK’s network with suggestions and recommendations. This is the start of a long road, through which the LRE UK aims to promote the history and heritage of the Second World War and transmit the lasting legacy of the veterans.

LRE Foundation established the LRE United Kingdom national branch in 2021 –Press release (PDF)

The German Federal Government supports the LRE Foundation for the third year in a row

The LRE Foundation has recently received a new grant from the German Federal Government, following the decision to continue the financial support in 2022. The signature took place on Wednesday, 27 July, at the German Embassy in The Hague, the Netherlands, in the presence of Ambassador Dr. Cyrill Nunn and LRE Foundation Managing Director Rémi Praud.

With this signature, the German Federal Government ensures its support to the Liberation Route Europe project for the third year in a row. The past grants have been crucial for the creation, launch and expansion of the international hiking trails system in the footsteps of the Allies forces (including the launch event in July 2021 in Berlin and the installation of over a hundred Floor ‘Vectors of Memory’ in Europe), the development of the Liberation Route Europe website and mobile application, and the realisation of educational and marketing materials, such as videos and brochures, to bring the project to a larger public in Europe and North America.

The 2022 grant will make it possible to further develop the Liberation Route Europe trails by researching new historical content, new modes to experience the route and installing more ‘Vectors of memory’ trail markers. Moreover, the LRE Foundation aims to engage with new international partners to involve new regions and storylines in the current network and works to build even more awareness among the European and North American public.  

“We would like to thank again the German Federal Government for their renewed commitment to endorse the Liberation Route Europe’s mission and values.”, said Rémi Praud, LREF Managing Director, “In the past year, the route has grown into a European-wide remembrance project, and an example of meaningful sustainable tourism that we hope will be able to inspire more and more cultural institutions. This additional grant is crucial because it allows us to seek new partners and stories to bring to our growing audience”.